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“Make America Great Again” and Respect our National Anthem

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard the slogan “Make America Great Again”.   America is the greatest nation in the world, but we are not acting like it lately.  In my opinion, there has been a lack of patriotism nation wide from not standing for “The Star Spangled Banner”-our National anthem, to the violent protests taking place across America, to hateful comments being spewed all over social media.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it is the way some people are going about voicing these opinions that is the problem.  Our country deserves respect, honor, peace, and loyalty.  Regardless of who you voted for, we all can do our part to make America great again…starting with learning about our National anthem.



Who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner”

Francis Scott Key, an American poet, author, and lawyer, wrote “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Key witnessed Baltimore, Maryland being bombed by the British in 1814, during the war of 1812, and wrote a poem titled “The Defense of Fort McHenry.”  He was aboard a ship, and as morning came, he could distinctly see our American flag waving proudly in the sky through all of the smoke.  The poem was eventually set to music, and it became the song we all know today.


Francis Scott Key


Why is “The Star Spangled Banner” our National anthem

In 1931, America adopted “The Star Spangled Banner” as our National anthem.  After the war of 1812, it started being sung everywhere, kind of like a tune you hear on the radio today that becomes well known.  During the Civil war, Union troops began singing the tune more and more and it gained in popularity.  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order that “The Star Spangled Banner” will be sung as our national anthem for all military ceremonies.  In 1931, after finally passing in Congress, it officially became America’s official National anthem.


National Anthem


What’s the Deal with Standing and Putting my Hand Over my Heart

With all the disagreement in our country about everything from religion, to politics, to parenting, to sexuality, agreeing on something does not come easy.  When we stand for our National anthem, it is a time for us all to stand in unity, to pause and reflect about how great our country is, and to all join together with pride as Americans.  Standing and putting our hands over our hearts are signs of respect for our flag, for the many courageous soldiers who fought and died for our freedom, and for our country.  You may not agree with every decision being made by our government, but we are all still “One Nation under God” and when you choose to not stand, you are disrespecting so many who risked or gave up their lives for you.


Star Spangled Banner



How do I Teach My Kids About Respect for our Country

You are the main role model in your child’s life.  If you hear the National anthem being sung at a sporting event, be the first to stand up and put your hand over your heart.  Teach your boys to take off their hats.  Discuss with them the many soldiers who fought for our freedom, especially someone who they are related to who they can form a connection with.  Discuss with your child how we are the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”  If you have the news on and your child sees the destructive protests going on, teach them how to peacefully voice their opinions.  When your child hears someone talk about someone in leadership in a disrespectful way, teach them how to disagree respectfully.  Teach your child not to live in fear, but to live in love.  Raise them to be good citizens and to respect our great country.


Star Spangled Banner


I would love to hear your thoughts about what makes America great and how to show respect to our country.  A GREAT book Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner: Time-travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans tells the complete story of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

If you are a parent, student, or teacher who wants to learn more about music, connect with other musicians, or wants to post their latest videos of what they’ve been working on, I would love for you to join my Facebook group Music Education Connection. Collaborate, learn from each other, and grow new friendships. This is a place to receive encouragement, positive feedback, and to ask questions.

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National Anthem

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Jessica Peresta

I am a wife, mom of 3 boys, pianist, and music educator. Every child should be given an opportunity to learn music through lessons (traditional or online), home music education, and in the schools.

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